How to Stand Out at Camp & Goalie with Osgoode Schlatters

As you get ready to head to your training camps, I want to remind you of the tips I posted back in the spring for your spring tryouts.  This is a collection of ways you can stand out at training camp.

You see, not only do I train hockey players, I also train a few coaches, plus I work with groups of athletes all the time and I cannot tell you how easy it is to pick out the slackers or the ones who don’t want to be there.  In some cases this is an unfair assumption made by the coach, perhaps you are just shy and that is why you are always staring at your skates when the coach is talking, but you better get over that really quick if you want to maximize you chances of making the team this year.

I am amazed at how many coaches tell me that they would rather have a kid who works hard and is not a pain in the @ss (including their parents) than have a kid with loads of skill who won’t work hard in practice and is a little jerk.

So check this out for my tips on how to impress at hockey tryouts this year.

Osgoode Schlatters Disease in Hockey Goalies

Has a question from one of my favourite subscribers who asked about a young teenage goalie who was very tall for his age – over 6 feet tall already!  This goalie was diagnosed with Osgoode Schlatters Disease.

Now, before we plan a benefit to raise money for this goalies’ medical expenses, let me tell you a bit about OSD.  The first thing I would like to tell you is that it is another one of those things that sounds MUCH worse than it is.

If you don’t want to read – here is a video for you…

OSD is common in kids who are very active and who are still growing – which pretty much describes all young athletes.  Here is what happens:

  • As I have explained before – you grow from your bones, not your muscles.  It is not a coordinated effort.  The bones just take of and grow leaving the muscles relatively short.  Now they will also lengthen over time to catch up, but not at the same rate that the bone is growing, so this can lead to ‘acute’ tightness.
  • The very strong quadriceps muscle group converges into one tendon which attaches to a little bump on the front of your shin called the tibial tubercle.  This tubercle still has a ‘soft’ attachment – the bone is not fully developed until the goalie’s growth plates close when they are finished growing.
  • So you have a very strong and highly utilized muscle which is now quite tight attached to a soft bony prominence and you can see how the bony attachment is going to get irritated after being yanked on repeatedly day in and day out.

What should a goalie with Osgoode Schlatters do?

I had Osgoode Schlatters when I was a kid.  I loved playing basketball, road hockey, football and distance running (yes, when I was a kid girls did not play hockey in my town and we actually just played outside everyday after school).

At that time the solution was to take a year off sports altogether.  I remember the doctor saying “If you don’t stop your sports we will put your leg in a cast so you can’t play”.  So I took the year off sports – I think that was when I was 15 years old.  Came back to sports the next year and surprise, surprise my knees still hurt – because at 16 years of age I had not finished growing (thank goodness), so that bony prominence had not yet firmed up to solid bone.

So what should our young goalie with Osgoode Schlatters do?  Well he should get assessed by a good sport physiotherapist for a comprehensive stretching routine which can help take some of the stress off that tibial tubercle.  This will include stretches for:

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Hip Flexors
  • Calves
  • Iliotibial Band

The goalie must then actually DO the stretches – probably twice per day.  The next strategy is to ice before and after activity and finally listen to your body.  If the pain is getting too bad, then take an extra day off. If the pain is tolerable then keep going – if you actually have Osgoode Schlatters then you are not doing damage to the joint, it is just painful and it will go away once you stop growing.

But make sure you get the proper diagnosis from an experienced sport medicine doctor or sport physiotherapist because you may have a different reason for your knee pain such as patellar tendonitis, patellofemoral pain syndrome or an actual bony injury to the joint.

Hope that helps tell you more about Osgoode Schlatters than you ever wanted to know!  Please keep those off-ice goalie training questions coming!